BDAB – President of the Board: Duties

President of the Board:


Duties generally—

The president of the Board of Education shall preside at all meetings of the Board, appoint all committees, and sign all warrants ordered by the Board to be drawn upon the business administrator for school moneys.

Utah Code § 53G-4-205(1) (2019)

Presiding officer—

Duties as presiding officer:

  1. Call the Board into session.
  2. Conduct Board meetings.
    • Declare the opening of meetings
    • Determine order of business according to Board policy.
    • Recognize claimants to the floor.
    • Rule on admissibility of business.
      • Declare motions in or out of order.
      • Declare, subject to overriding, the propriety of the Board’s considering specific items of business.
      • Declare, subject to overriding, specific items of business in or out of the Board’s province of action.
    • Within limits of Board policy, control extent of discussion.
      • Declare, subject to overriding, discussion closed whenever comment becomes repetitious, dilatory, or no longer pertinent to the point at issue.
      • Declare discussion closed whenever time limits previously determined by Board action have been reached.
    • Maintain the dignity of the Board in session.
      • Apply the rules of parliamentary procedures.
      • Restrain debate within bounds of good taste and courtesy.
      • Provide equal opportunity for expression of opposing points of view.
      • Within limits of Board policy, secure the rapid handling of Board business.
      • Rule out of order all action and comment unbecoming a legislative body in session.
    • Declare the results of Board voting.
      • Declare the passage or non-passage of motions.
      • Declare for the record the identities of members (including the president) voting aye and nay and of those not voting.
    • Ensure the legal recording of Board business.
      • Declare Board decisions to the secretary of the Board of Education
      • Make inquiry of the secretary or make investigation of the record as to the rate of progress of note-taking with respect to the Board’s dispatch of business.
    • Increase efficiency in Board meeting procedures.
    • Declare the meeting adjourned.
  1. Ensure proper keeping of Board records and supplies.
  2. Sign as president of the Board official copies of minutes and other Board documents.
  3. Secure the legality of Board action, procedures, meetings, and membership.
  4. Receive for the Board all delegations and petitions.
  5. Issue, subject to Board approval, official statements of Board action and policy.

Duties regarding other Board members—

Duties in relation to other Board members:

  1. Lead discussion in Board meetings.
    • Cause topics for discussion to be listed and given to all members prior to meetings.
    • Stimulate participation of all members in discussion.
    • Keep discussion to the point.
    • Ensure discussion of all important phases of each problem considered.
    • Ensure the full employment of special abilities of individual Board members in the carrying on of Board business.
    • Draw discussion toward an authorization or directive of action or toward a statement of policy.
  2. Guard the rights of expression and freedom of action of all Board members.
    • Maintain democratic procedures in all Board sessions.
    • Protect minority opinion.
    • Ensure fair hearing for all points of view.
    • Secure Board respect for expression of dissenting opinion.
    • Prevent, within Board policy, termination of discussion of any problem until each member has expressed an opinion or has indicated willingness to have discussion ended.
    • Rule impartially on arguments turning on judgments of the presiding officer.
    • Prevent decision-shaping influences upon Board members other than those in free, thorough, and democratic discussion in Board meetings.
    • Refrain from discussing elements of Board deliberations outside of Board meetings except when the public interest requires an official statement.
    • Hold that all decisions and actions of the Board are of all members until such decisions and actions are disavowed by a majority vote in legal session of the board.
    • Ensure the authorizing, conducting, and reporting of all Board business in legal sessions of the Board.
    • As presiding officer, ensure the good order of meetings with courtesy, tolerance, sincerity, and mutual respect evidenced in members’ relations with one another.
  3. Induct new members.
    • Determine the legality of the membership claimed.
    • Declare the seating of the new member.
    • Express the official welcome of the Board.
    • Introduce the new member to other Board members, the superintendent of schools, and other school personnel.
    • Provide informative materials concerning the school system, school district organization, Board practices and policies, duties of Board members, legal authorizations and compulsions, educational programs of the schools, current problems of the Board, and sources of information aiding in decision making in school board deliberations.
    • Make accessible all records of Board business.
    • Provide, according to Board policy, equipment such as binder covers for official copies of Board documents, Board membership list, school directory and calendar, school district map, population charts, statements of Board policy, state school code, books and magazines, notebooks, and file folders.
    • Arrange tours of observation through the school system for new members.
  4. Promote good relations with other school boards.
    • Secure the exchange of information.
    • Encourage reciprocal visiting of board meetings and school plants.
    • Assist in developing area meetings of members of school boards.
    • Ensure the representation of the Board of Education by Board members at county, state, and other meetings.
    • Participate in planning for the general improvement of educational opportunity.
  5. Maintain the preeminence of worthy educational objectives in all school board activities.
    • Ensure long-range planning of activities toward the accomplishment of educational objectives.
    • Secure the continual informing of the Board by the staff on programs and problems in education.
    • Draw upon the staff for assistance in Board deliberations.
    • Evaluate all proposals in the light of their relation to the accomplishment of worthy educational objectives.
    • Bring about the expression of community needs in education.
  1. Cause the development and execution of a long-range plan of school improvement and Board action.
  2. Secure the adoption of codes of ethics governing the Board of Education.
  3. In the public interest, expose and eliminate any instances of unethical conduct of any Board members.

Duties regarding staff—

Duties in relation to the certified and classified staff of the District:

  1. Represent the Board in official relations of the Board with the certified and classified staff.
  1. Make official representations of the Board to the staff through the executive officers of the school system.
  2. Accept representations of the staff through the executive officers of the school system.
  3. Require the filing of school reports to the Board according to Board policy.
  4. Make, as a Board member, tours of observation of the school system.
  5. Make as the Board president, with the full Board or an authorized committee, tours of inspection annually.
  6. Respect professional codes of ethics and demand their observance.
  7. Observe codes of ethics for Board members in all relations with the certified and classified staff.
  8. Secure the academic freedom and personal liberties of individuals of the school staff.
  9. Require the observance of contractual provisions.
  10. Secure Board adoption of equitable policies of employment, retention, promotion, and release of personnel.
  11. Maintain the preeminence of pupil and student welfare over Board and staff welfare, comfort, and convenience.
  12. Require, through Board cognizance of school operation, high standards of service of school personnel.
  13. Draw fully on the ability of the staff for assistance to the Board in improving the entire school organization.

Duties regarding the local community—

Duties in relation to the community:

  1. Represent as Board member the entire school district in Board deliberation.
  1. Seek expression of community opinion as guide to the Board of Education.
  2. Interpret expressions of community pressure groups in relation to the public interests.
  3. Defend, under democratic concepts of rights and liberties, community minority groups in relation to the school system.
  4. Refer to the certified staff, subject to review by the Board if necessary, problems of professional relations with the community.
  5. Interpret the community to the certified and classified staff.
  6. Protect professional and other school personnel from improper pressures of community groups or individuals.
  7. Interpret the educational program and plans to the community.
  8. Promote community understanding and interest in school activities and develop community concern for worthy educational accomplishments.
  9. Promote school activity in community improvement programs.
  10. Attend as Board member school-centered community activities.
  11. Represent the Board in official statements to the public.

Duties regarding state government—

Duties in relation to the state government:

  1. Represent the state educational authority in the school district.
  1. Secure observance in the school system of applicable sections of the state school law.
  2. Ensure legality of all school and school board actions.
  3. Require, through Board authority, the prompt filing of accurate reports by the school system to the state government.
  4. Conduct, as presiding officer of the Board, public hearings as required by law.
  5. Secure all possible advantages for the school system under permissive legislation.
  6. Lead the Board to an understanding of state school organization and state school law.
  7. Act with the state government and other governmental units including school districts in promoting educational opportunity for all persons in the state.
  8. As a state school officer, act in the public interest of the state as a whole when that interest and local public interest appear to be at variance.

President’s duties to be performed by vice president—

If the president is absent or acquires a disability, these duties are performed by the vice president.

Utah Code § 53G-4-205(2) (2019)